New York, NY – Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Queens), Council Member Eric Dinowitz (D-Bronx) and Council Member Marjorie Velázquez (D-Bronx) announce that a New York City Council Resolution in support of Rozic’s bill A472A will be introduced in the City Council. The bill directs the Commissioner of State Education to audit Holocaust education in New York.
“It is imperative that we teach our students the dangers of antisemitic attitudes and actions, and that we teach them how to combat Holocaust distortion and trivialization,” said Assemblywoman Rozic. “I am grateful that Council Members Dinowitz and Velázquez are highlighting this issue at the city level to make it clear that hate has no place in New York – past, present, or future.”
“We are in a period of time when there is a disturbing increase in antisemitic hate crimes and a troubling rise in the number of people who believe the Holocaust did not even happen. This bill will help ensure our children are learning about this terrible period in our history, and taking those lessons to ensure the horrors of the past are not repeated” said Council Member Dinowitz, Chair of City Council’s Jewish Caucus. “I strongly urge the state to pass S121A/A472A.”
“The increase in antisemitic attacks across the globe, and specifically here in New York City are a reminder that the bigotry of the past still exists in our present.This Holocaust Remembrance Day is not only about reflecting on the horrors of history, but understanding the continued need to educate those who are ill-informed of the past,” said Council Member Velázquez. “Knowledge and compassion are our greatest tools in combating hate, which is why I fully support legislation to ensure our children are taught these moments of History.”
“In a world rife with antisemitism, racism and hatred, education is our most powerful tool to open the minds and hearts of the young,” said Dr. Shay Pilnik, director of the Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Yeshiva University. “I cannot thank Assemblymember Nily Rozic and Council Members Eric Dinowitz and Marjorie Velázquez enough for forwarding our mission at the Fish Center of ensuring that future generations never forget the damage, violence and heartbreak that hate and intolerance visit upon the world.”
According to a 2020 50-state study by the Claims Conference, New York is among the states with the lowest Holocaust knowledge scores, with 58 percent of Millenials and Gen Z being unable to name a single concentration camp. The study also found that 60 percent of young people did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.
The City Resolution is the first that Council Member Velázquez is introducing in the City Council.